977 A Randomised Controlled Trial Of The Management Of Bell's Palsy In Scottish General Practice.

Conference: 
Author(s): 
Frank Sullivan, Scottish School of Primary care - University of Dundee
F. Daly - University of Dundee
P. Donnan - University of Dundee
J. Morrison - University of Glasgow
B.McKinstry - University of Edinburgh
B.Smith - University of Aberdeen
Text: 
Oral Communication
Introduction
Bell"s palsy is an acute unilateral paralysis of the facial nerve. It affects 25-35 people per 100,000 per annum. On average, every year a GP will see one or two patients with the condition. Although most recover well, 30% of patients have a poor prognosis. Two recent Cochrane reviews concerning the treatment of Bell's palsy have examined the effectiveness of steroids and antivirals. These found that insufficient data exist to conclude that either or both therapies are effective
Methods
Patients presenting in a variety of primary care settings and A/E were randomised 2 à? 2 factorial trial to assess whether prednisolone and/or acyclovir commenced within the first 72 hours of onset of Bell"s palsy results in incomplete recovery of facial motor function . We had 80% power to detect a difference of 12% in rates of recovery between the groups.
Results
551 patients were recruited to the trial.496 were included in the final analysis when the randomisation code was broken on 20th March. Results comparing outcomes in the treatment arms have will be available for presentation at WONCA Europe. The NNT for the most effective intervention was 6 (95% CI 4 to 9) at three months and 8 (95% CI 6 to 14) at nine months
Conclusions
Good recruitment and excellent retention of patients in the trial have allowed us to make clear recommendations about the treatment options for patients with Bell"s Palsy seen in primary care.
Literature: 
977
A randomised controlled trial of the management of Bell's palsy in Scottish General Practice.